Some of Them Are SO Sweet!

Damned near my entire composition class took a nose dive ’round about the 7th week of our 11-week course. I, in a desperate attempt to get them re-focused and energized, offered them the Last Minute Larry solution. I found this amongst the papers in one student’s portfolio (I only edited my name, his name, and “Local Pizza Place” – everything else is exactly as he wrote it):

Dear Mrs. Chili:

I am writing this letter to you to say that you very much. I thank you for putting up with my drama, my negligence, and my lack of work. I appreciate that you are allowing me to make up all the work I am missing and I know tht this is a very special occasion because you don’t accept late work.

I am truly thankful that you are allowing me to make up all my work because now I will have the chance to do well in this class. You saved me from not only having to take the class over, but you also saved me money.

For your grace I will make sure I give 100% and I will take advantage of this opportunity. I will try my best to get everything to you so that I will come out of this not only on top but also have a decent grade. I will be so happy if I was away with a B, but if I get a C then I guess I will be happy to.

I am very grateful for what you have allowed me to do and on our last day of class I will be more that happy to go to (Local Pizza Place) and get you anything that you like out of thankfulness for what you have allowed me to do. Now because you allowed me to do this, I will be able to get through my hard times and exeed in my life. You have taken a lot of stress off my back and for that it’s the least I can do to get you food on the last day of class. I appreciate you so much.


I’ve loved this kid. He’s the single most charming, biggest pain in the ass kid I’ve had all semester. Do any of you remember Adam? Tommy is just like Adam – lovable, a truly fantastic participant in class, smarter than he thinks he is… and lazy. Just like Adam, though, Tommy recognizes a break when he gets one, and he’s lived up to his promise. He’s not getting a B in the class, certainly, but he’s not failing, either. I wish him every good thing in his life.



Filed under compassion and cooperation, composition, concerns, funniness, Learning, little bits of nothingness, out in the real world, student chutzpah, success!, Teaching, the good ones, writing

5 responses to “Some of Them Are SO Sweet!

  1. Letters and expressions of appreciations from the Tommy’s make putting up with all the Jon’s worth it, doesn’t it?

  2. Gratitude goes such a long way in teaching. I let a mom know that I’m moving up to fifth grade (from second) and she said something along the lines of “Oh, great–that means she can have you again!” That was better than any present she could have given me on the last day of school.

    I’ve just stumbled upon your blog and I like it–especially “Grammar Wednesday.” I have a long held reputation for being the grammar queen and it’s nice to know there are others like me out there!

  3. drtombibey

    I remember a fellow who begged for a C in Spanish. The teacher said with that heavy accent, “Senior Jim, a C is going to be very difficult.”

    He got a C-.

    It is hard to be a kid, but if you light the fire for a few you’ve earned your keep, mrschili.

    Dr. B

  4. That was a wonderful letter. I really do hope that he follows through with everything because I think he’ll feel very proud of what he was able to accomplish.

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is why we do what we do. What a wonderful gift.

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